The number of Malaysian youths involved in sexual intercourse has doubled since 2016, according to a recent survey.
According to the Sexual Health and Intimate Wellness Survey 2022, which spoke to over 1,000 Malaysians aged between 18 and 30, 35.4% of them had had sexual intercourse, compared to 18.8% from the first survey in 2016.
And among this group, 62% had their first sexual experience at the age of 22 or younger.
This was also a rise from the 2016 results, which was 42%.
More worrying is that the survey found that 42% of youths prefer to engage in sex without condoms.
Therefore, it was unsurprising that one in 20 women experienced an unwanted pregnancy.
SPOT Malaysia founder Siti Aishah Hassan Hasri noted that Malaysian youths lack confidence when purchasing contraceptives such as condoms.
She believes that empowerment is essential in order for them to take proactive measures.
“There are other approaches and options for the youth, such as reaching out to their friends for help,” she said.
She added that “exposure to sexual and reproductive health education is imperative to educate and create awareness among the youths to increase sexual protection, as well as to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.”
On the digital front, the survey reported that over one out of five Malaysian youths have sexted before.
Content creator and social activist Arwind Kumar shared his personal experience in raising concern and creating awareness on the practice of sending nude photos on social media.
Although his actions were well-intended, he received backlash from the public.
However, Arwind took the criticisms positively and said: “It is good to embrace and explore the liberation of taboos, but being educated and aware of the potential risks is of utter importance.”
“Sex is something that is done for pleasure and pleasurable sex comes with safety,” he added.
The survey was conducted by Durex Malaysia between April and May (2022).
The survey results were shared with the media in conjunction with the launch of the company’s #cometogether campaign, which aims to encourage more open conversations surrounding the still relatively taboo topic of sex in Malaysia.
The launch also saw a panel discussion on issues pertaining to sexual health and perceptions involving Durex Malaysia marketing manager Jerome Goh, Siti Aishah, UNFPA Programme Analyst Tengku Aira Tengku Razif, counsellor and sex therapist Chan Fun Shin, and Arwind.
For a more in-depth look at the survey findings, check out StarHealth on Aug 21 (2022).